On the bright side, the honeymoon will, presumably, now be back on…
England boss Roy Hodgson this evening confirmed what Canary keeper John Ruddy had long tweeted – that a broken finger will now rule him out of England’s Euro2012 campaign.
The 25-year-old will not only be able to attend his wedding on June 2 as arranged with the Football Association, he will now have the rest of June to settle down to wedded bliss – and gently nurse his broken ring finger back to full strength ahead of the start of pre-season training.
“It really was unlucky for us,” Hodgson told today’s official FA Press conference ahead of this weekend’s warm-up clash with Norway in Oslo.
Ruddy will still travel with the England party to the game, but will return to Norfolk for treatment thereafter.
“He was so excited and to break a finger in training in the goalkeeping work was really unfortunate,” added Hodgson.
“We can’t take a risk, it is broken, but the advice was that we had no choice to take him and as a result we have given a chance to Jack Butland.”
It is rough, rough justice on the Canary star whose excellent first, full season in the top flight not only gained its due reward with that first, full England call-up but also with the ‘Players Player of the Season’ award after a succession of top-drawer performances.
To his credit, Ruddy appeared to be taking it on the chin. An already busy summer, just got slightly less hectic.
“To everyone who has asked…as if it wasn’t unlucky enough, it IS my ring finger and also my first ever broken bone!” the Canary keeper told his Twitter followers, his sense of humour still intact – even if his finger wasn’t.
“Thank you for the messages, gutted but determined to come back better next season, can’t wait for the wedding now!” he added.
“Taken lots of positives from the two days training, and the biggest positive is that it happened with England before a major tournament!”
As one door closed, so another one opened – tonight it was Birmingham’s 19-year-old stopper Butland who was scarely believing his luck as he found himself on the plane in Ruddy’s stead and joining Joe Hart and Robert Green as England’s bank of three keepers.
“I’m over the moon,” said Butland, due a trip to the Olympics too as part of the inaugural Team GB outfit.
“It still hasn’t sunk in and I can’t explain how much this means to me. It’s always been a dream of mine to play for my country, and this is another step,” he added. “I cannot wait to join up with the squad, start training and gaining some fantastic experience.”
Elsewhere and it appeared nigh-on certain that Roberto Martinez would be confirmed as the new Liverpool chief – finally ending all speculation that Canary chief Paul Lambert might be Anfield-bound.
“He had a meeting on Thursday with the owner of Liverpool in Miami,” Wigan owner Dave Whelan told BBC Sport. “I think they have made some kind of offer.
“They will speak again on Tuesday. I’ve said I want a decision by Thursday.”
All of which will leave Premier League managerial vacancies open at Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and, of course, Wigan.
None of which are likely to figure large on Lambert’s radar and – as he made abundantly clear after Adam Drury’s Testimonial Match against Celtic on Tuesday night, the Scot has never said he ‘wanted away’.
A position he repeated this week in an interview with Sky Sports News; albeit he is well aware that having set the bar so high this year, simply surviving for another season might not be good enough for some.
“If I put targets on certain things the fans will come here and expect, and if we are not in the top half they will be calling for my head,” said Lambert. “So as long as we stay in the league that is the most important thing.”
His own ambitions, you strongly suspect, will demand rather more.